Health Council advises national approach against eating disorders

NOS Newstoday, 06:00

There must be a national approach that allows eating disorders to be recognized and treated earlier. The Health Council writes this in an advice to the Ministry of Health.

According to the Council, there is currently little knowledge in society about, for example, the early recognition of eating disorders, and there is also limited insight into the number of patients.

Four Eating Disorders

For the advice, among other things, scientific literature was reviewed and the Council spoke with experts and organizations about four disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and food intake disorder ARFID.

The first three disorders are most common in women between the ages of 15 and 30. ARFID is usually seen in children at a very young age.

Early identification is ‘essential’

The Health Council emphasizes that early recognition and treatment of an eating disorder is “essential”, because then the prognosis is better and recovery is faster. “The eating disorder is then less serious and the disease burden for the young person and those around them is lower,” the council writes.

It now takes an average of four years before a young person with an eating disorder receives appropriate help. In order to shorten this period, the Council proposes to invest in more knowledge. For example, there should be a national registration system, in order to gain a better insight into the number of patients and thus the extent and seriousness of the problem.

Robust research agenda

With regard to the prevention of eating disorders, the Council recommends focusing on making young people more mentally resilient and increasing media literacy, in order to make young people less susceptible to, for example, beauty ideals on social media. Parents should also be given more and better information, so that any disturbances are noticed earlier.

Furthermore, there should be a “solid research agenda”, because relatively little progress has been made in the “past ten years” in understanding how to prevent and recognize eating disorders, the council says.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Never miss any important news. Subscribe to our newsletter.